Mental Health

Arm surgery, anxiety, & the abnormals

 

A lady had broken her arm and the doctor had a quick-fix, something for the interim because of other health complications that prevented a complete fix. This lady no longer could lift so much as a cup of tea with that hand now, halfway helpless, but her bone slowly healed in that wrong way and she grew stronger and found ways to adapt and get around without using her one arm so much.

Months later, the doctor said it was time for the Big Fix – a complete recovery and healing for her arm.

 Does it come as a shock that she didn’t want it?

Thing is, her arm had healed wrong, so her arm would need re-broken to be completely healed. It would be a long painful process and she would have to readjust to new pain and then to this new “normal” life with both arms in relatively perfect condition.

I heard this story and immediately could relate. Can’t you? To that thing you’ve gotten so used to, that wrong thing, but you’re not sure you can live without it?

 

Because being broken is less painful than being fixed.

The novel I’m working on is called “Unfixed” and that’s oddly a safe place for these grotesque characters. But I wonder what would happen if in the end I heal them, if their story heals them.

  • Who would they be then?
  • Would they be themselves anymore, or someone new?
  • What would they have to re-learn, and would they ever like it?

I’ve learned to manage my pain, much like my characters manage theirs. A community of misfits. We’ve created a new normal. And it’s scary to think of leaving it. It’s kinda like arm surgery. And I’m not sure I’m ready to break again.
 
 

The great & terrible light ahead…

As this post is published, I’m in the middle of a month of busy. Me, a social life! So many things I’m doing, and I love them all, but I’m just waiting for anxiety to knock me back down. But it can’t keep me from living, not totally.

And that’s not the end of my story either. Really, I don’t know the end to that lady’s arm surgery story. But I know that the end of mine will be complete healing – in this life or another. Healing isn’t regret – that’s a lie, likely from the very pain that afflicts us. I and my characters are going to learn to be brave, to be the hero of our stories as we go into the terror of the woods and as we emerge into the great & terrible light again.

 

Free, Take 1:
|Normal| |Control| |Courage| |New Name|

I recently read this Hannah Brencher post on keeping your normal. You should read it all, but here’s a snippet that I think reminds of the control and the courage we do have.
 

Here’s the thing: I am not my depression. I am not defined by it or confined by it. It happened to me. It still happens to me. My depression does not, on any day of the week, give me a new name though. It will never have that sort of permission.No mental illness, no horrific tragedy, no person who did you wrong or left you broken is allowed to name you. It does not work that way, no matter what other people tell you. This is your life. These are your lungs. This is your space.

 

 

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Musings of a Creative

WIP: The Soundtrack of Unfixed

Movies aren’t the only story medium with soundtracks. More books are having official or unofficial soundtracks. Authors and readers alike compile songs that go with the story.

Sometimes there’s one song, sometimes multiple. Sometimes for different scenes, sometimes for different characters.

Many authors need to listen to music while writing – sometimes this is just music in general, but sometimes the author finds a specific song to fit the mood of the section they’re writing.

There’s no doubt about it, music inspires story. In fact, art inspires art – no matter the medium. Books, movie, visual art, dance, music. They all bring inspiration for the others.

I don’t always write to music, but I do frequently hear a song and think of how it fits with my story.

If my protagonist, Julia Trencher, were a singer, I’m sure she would have sung this song. “Human” by Christina Perri.

 

What About You?

If you’re a writer, what songs have inspired your writing? If you’re a reader, what songs remind you of a favorite story? How does music play into story for you? Do any of your favorite books have a soundtrack?

Musings of a Creative

WIP Research: Circus Extravaganza!

www.wikipedia.org
www.wikipedia.org

  Okay, it’s not called “Circus Extravaganza.” But that is quite catchy, right? Here’s something equally alluring from my perspective though – The Worldwide Circus Summit. “Ooh” and “ahh” now, please.

Conferences can be tedious, monotonous, and a real snooze. Or they can be an exhilarating way to glean information in a condensed timeframe. And a circus conference? I would plan on the latter.

I need to understand the ins and outs of a circus show. And here’s my in. Basicly any research I need to do circus-wise can found in one place, right? Now I just need to get a ticket & roadtrip it next year. So if anyone’s wanting to come up with a creative birthday gift for me, you’re welcome. I promise to forget about this blogpost by then.

What Say You?

Know of any great circuses coming to town (near Peoria, IL), some local “extravaganza”? I need to know! I can get some research done, ya know, sooner than 2015. What about other great circus researching resources?

If you’re a writer, what setting are you researching now, or have you recently researched?

http://worldwidecircussummit2015.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/save_the_date_sm.jpg
http://worldwidecircussummit2015.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/save_the_date_sm.jpg
for the Bookworms, Musings of a Creative

WIP: Unfixed Teaser

In the course of writing a novel you inevitably come across people asking, “What’s your book about?” In the course of submitting a work-in-progress (WIP) to an agent or publisher, there is a query to submit that states what the book is about – quite similar to the back of a book to pique the reader’s interest. Though I am still writing my WIP tentatively titled Unfixed, the number of people who ask “What’s your book about?” gave me reason to practice. Below you will find my working query, back of book, or teaser – whichever way you want to think of it. While the general wording or story may change, this is my current idea.

“Shall we put her together again?”
Silence.
“Well?” Dr. Wise looked at the pale couple.
“What do you mean?” Mr. Trencher coughed, finding his throat very suddenly dry.
“Put her together. Fix her,” Dr. Wise replied.
“But she is dead,” Mr. Trencher hoarsely explained.
“She isn’t Humpty Dumpty, Mr. Trencher. She left death before. She is simply fascinating. She could live again.” Dr. Wise rubbed his hands together and leaned forward to touch the arm closest to him on the floor. Then he paused, as if realizing the inappropriateness of such behavior in front of two bewildered and grieving parents, and sat up in his seat, letting his hands clench the desk to ascertain that they would not move again.

Julia Trencher has died. Twice. Yet she is no zombie. Hiding behind her parents money had been enough for her, to simply visit the doctor each time she broke. But when she meets the strange boy Sylas in the waiting room, he offers hope of others like her – freaks and outcasts, content as they are.

Great Geppetto’s Circus of the Travelling Strange is a place she could be welcomed, celebrated even. Just a simple contract Geppetto has written could provide a place where Julia may not be so strange after all. Geppetto has plans of his own, having learned that the success or obliteration of the entire circus depends on this contract with Julia. Meanwhile, Julia must decide if the circus is truly a community as it claims, or rather an enslavement the others have been powerless to escape from.

Your Response:

If you’re a writer, what’s your query (tentative or otherwise)? If you’re a reader, what makes you want to read a story? Is there any specific info that grabs you in the writing on a bookjacket?